Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday


I know the picture is small...but it's a favorite of mine. I have been missing in action, because I am completing a three day training course for points towards my lactation license. So tired...long hour days. Be blessed this Thursday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Favorite Things 7


I know...I am crazy, I have a picture of a big bowl of popcorn on my screen. What has this blogging turned me into? Bryn looked at me funny (in her normal, weirdo teenage look) and said, "why are you taking a picture of your popcorn? I looked at her with my normal, mom look and said, "for my blog of course."

So here is my favorite thing 7....Popcorn. It is a main staple here at the Reynolds Nation. I have a full, five gallon bucket of the kernels...ready and waiting to be popped on the stove. Yes, I know...I said it, on the stove. We do not eat microwave popcorn around here...hehehe...we don't even own a microwave and haven't in 10 years. I make it right on the stove...the old fashion way. It is the best this way...and the cheapest. I pay approximately 39 cents a pound for my popcorn...which is way cheaper than the bag kind. And of course, a ton healthier. I have eaten some microwave popcorn recently that somebody made and it was so greasy and flat...not fluffy like mine. My kids love it...we eat it about 4-5 times a week...it is a favorite snack around here. If the kids hear the kernels fall in the pot, I hear some excited sounds come from the house. So, give it a try...pop some corn tonight!



40 bag update: 19 bags

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Summer is whispering....

I am sitting here in my house and it is 90 degrees outside...a bit warm for the last week of March. Today we are tempted to turn the air conditioning on...the air is stale, not much of a breeze and it's a bit humid. But we want to hold out until past March...and cooler days (low 80's) are supposed to be here all week with possible showers. I hate when it gets like this...this is when I hate living in Florida. Even so, we had a great day. The kids played outside and we worked on some projects in the house. Ready for a busy week. Have a great night...and if you live outside of Florida...enjoy the cooler temps :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lego Logic



I continue on with my 40 Bag Challenge at a much slower pace. I have been trying to adjust back from Spring break and it has been a bit rough. Today though, I was able to go through the toys. You know the mountain of stuff that collects in our houses...and seems to multiply on it's own.

And of course with five kids the mountains seem so much higher. But after some careful observation I have noticed that my kids don't play with their toys...other than the Legos, blocks, Lincoln logs and some trucks. My kids love to build stuff and then destroy it. Everything else just gets left. So, today there was a major overhaul of the toys and most did not make it. I am tired of everything collecting dust. If it wasn't building, creating or educational then it moved onto greener pastures. This didn't include Esther's baby doll stuff, because that is well used. But everything else, was just Lego logic.

Bag update:18

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He is in the Sunrise...

Good Morning, Lord! I lift up my hand in praise to you and love you beyond anything in this world. I trust you with each day and each step...knowing that you have the best for me. Thank you for such a wonderful life!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Favorite Things 6

My new favorite thing...my Tortilla Press. I ordered this cast iron press last week from Amazon.com. The cost was under $20, which is very affordable for our budget. I have been making tortillas for awhile now, but it was a bit of a chore to roll them out...and it was really hard to get them round. A friend recommended this and I am in love. You can get the tortilla recipe from http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/... just put tortilla recipe in the search bar. It is so much easier than you would imagine, and of course so much healthier for you!
After the dough sits on the counter for a ten minutes, you roll them into little balls. If you want bigger tortillas, then you would want them bigger than this. These come out perfect for all the little hands in our house.

Voila! All ready to go...you can freeze them easily...just put wax paper in between them if you want to take them out individually. They are great for tacos, veggies or even peanut butter and jelly. This won't last very long at my house.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Watching the Moon...

On Saturday night, we journeyed down to the beach to watch the full moon rise. But this wasn't any ordinary moon...this was one that was 14% bigger than the normal moon...which hasn't happened in 19 years. We love to take an opportunity to make memories with our kids, so we went down there after dinner and had a lovely time. And it was a beautiful moon...big and bright.
Three in a row...here they are. Loving their first chance to be at the beach this year!

We told the kids not to get wet...haha! By the end of the time there, they were all half-way soaked. Judah wasn't too sure about the waves. And I must admit, the water was frigid!!!


All lined up. Love spending these moments with the kids. It doesn't take money to make memories...just our time and effort.



Esther posing for us...with her favorite t-shirt on...it says, "It's better being blonde!" Love her!




Saturday, March 19, 2011

WWJD


Our friends coined a new phrase...instead of WWJD (what would Jesus do), we think...What would Judah do!!!! This boy keeps us on our toes...we have to stay one step ahead...and think fast. He thankfully leaves a lot of evidence behind him. But his shirt today was picture perfect...it's a bit blurry, but it says, "Every Great Idea I Have, Gets Me In Trouble." :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Beauty of it All


Here is a picture of our first lily that bloomed at our house yesterday...Spring is definitely in the air. Enjoy the beautiful days!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Soccer, Here We Come!

After much anticipation by our boy William, he started his first practice yesterday for the season. This is the first organized sport he has ever played. He had been a ball of emotions for the past two weeks..."how will I know what to do? Will I be good at it? I am going to do great! I am not going to be good at it." It was so funny to hear all that he had to say. He counted down the days, and yesterday he started. I guess it all went well because as we were leaving he said, "how many more days until my next practice?"
Go William, Go!!!! Shin guards, cleats and all the good stuff included!

Lined up with his other teammates, watching the coach tell him what to do.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Purge Continues



I am feeling quite good about my 40 bag challenge. I am up to 10 bags...wooohooo! And this is not including the two mountains of stuff that I have for a garage sale. So this past week we have been working hard in two areas of my house. I told you about the video closet here and the other closet in my family room. Now, I have finished off my kitchen. We took the old closet(sorry not the best picture) that use to house my washing machine (which is now in my lovely mudroom) and put shelves in there. In this closet, we put all our pots and pans (which is such a blessing, because they were banging up my wood cabinets-we use cast iron), extra appliances and on the bottom ( you can see the tip of orange on the bottom) are my orange buckets of popcorn, wheat, spelt and oats. So, Bryn and I went through the rest of the cabinets and reorganized...and threw away a ton. So many old cups, mugs, plastic containers, etc. Now, my kitchen is so nicely organized and I feel like I have room for everything. And since I spend the most time in my kitchen, I am doing good. How are you doing about purging your home?

Monday, March 14, 2011

15 Years


Today, is the day that I said yes. Yes, to the most awesome man. Yes, to this most amazing journey of a life. Yes, to have a house full of kids. Yes, to the ups and downs that life brings us. Yes, to the life together that God would give. Fifteen years ago, Matthew and I came together as one. Fifteen years ago we started this journey. We are incredibly blessed with five wonderful children. We are blessed with good heath. We are blessed with our finances. We are blessed and highly favored. I thank God for this life that he has brought. I am thankful and anticipating the wonderful years that are ahead of us. I love you Matt...Happy 15th anniversary.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Delicious


What an irresistible face!
40 bag challenge update: 8 bags (kitchen cleaned out today)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Purging


So, yesterday was a great day for me. I took a little trip to Target and purchased a few shelving units to make our life easier. For the past eight years I have used my linen closet as a school closet...yeah, I know...can you believe I did this for eight years? Instead, I had my linens scattered in various closets around my house. And my house is not known for having an abundance of closet space. When I was at Target, I bought a six cube shelving space and two squares that stack as shelves. I was then able to put it together (with help from my teenager) and we put all of my school stuff in the family room closet. Nicely organized. And I was able to purge a whole bag of stuff that needed to be tossed a long time ago. Then I got all of my linens and put them in their rightful place...and was able to make a whole bag of old ones (not worth keeping) for Matt to cover his plants with next winter. Can we say, RECYCLE! Then in our small closet, Matt built a shelving unit that I bought (isn't he the best husband, after a long day he still put it together and organized the shelves for me) and put all our videos on it (see posted picture). I know, we have a ton of VHS tapes, but we had collected them so long and the kids still watch them since we don't have t.v. Eventually, we are going to put everything on the computer ( Matt is in charge of this). But until then, I am goood.
We also sold three pieces of small furniture on Craig's List (gotta love Craig's List) the other day. We are getting rid of all our Mexican Pine furniture. Well, because of this we had to find new places for other stuff. I sorted through all my kids art work (I had it in folders, but it was not well organized) and filed it in boxes. I was able to get rid of a lot of unrecognizable items and organize everything. What a great day. Now, I have three closets all put together...and approximately three more bags of stuff gone (and more put away for our garage sale).


40 bag challenge: six bags gone(not including garage sale things)


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Late Night Snapshot


I caught this scene when I came home late last night. Can you tell me who is more comfortable?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

40 Bag Challenge

I was reading my favorite blog the other day(Owlhaven.net) and I read this very inspiring post. So, I started this past week on my own 40 day challenge...which will take me to April 13th. I have already cleared out 3 bags this weekend. I am kind of excited...I have been in the mood the past few months to streamline my house...books gone, clothes moved do out..shelves straightened. My husband loves it...a cleaner house makes us both happy. Normally, I clean a lot in the summer because we are off from school, but my aim is to participate in my mother-in-law's garage sale this spring...so this moved me to clean now. So, who is in with me? Forty day challenge...comment if you are on board!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Deleon Springs

A fabulous shot of all the kids on the bridge, right next to the pancake restaurant. While we waited to be seated, we walked around the springs and got some great pictures.


Bryn and daddy...right next to the springs. A great picture of the two of them

William and I together hanging on the rails, by the water, looking for alligators. Thankfully, we didn't see any.



William, the conqueror...he thinks he is big and mighty! I think, perhaps one day, he will be!




Caleb, the climber, starting going up, up, up. He loved the morning spent at the Springs.






Who is that show-off? My boy Judah, always the showman. All the little kids standing on a huge stump, goofing off. Aren't they adorable???







Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old Spanish Sugar Mill

Matt and I have talked about coming here for years...only 45 minutes away from our house...but we just never made it up there. When we were making our vision of 2011 out in January, we put down some things we would like to do with the kids. The Lighthouse was one trip and the Mill was another. Though we waited over an hour for our table, it was worth the wait. The greatest part about the wait is that we got to explore the springs and the kids even dipped their feet in the water....the wait seemed so short.
Bryn and William on the one side of the table with the griddle in front of them...the specialty of the Mill is that you cook in front of you....and of course their fresh milled grain that makes up the best pancakes.


Here are the pancakes sizzling in front of me. You can add anything onto the pancakes...blueberries, pecans, bananas, and chocolate chips. See the plate in the front of the picture...they were tin plates...just like the plates from Little House on the Prairie.

Judah, ate like he had never eaten before. He loved drizzling his chocolate chips on his pancakes. Though he ate a lot, I think William was the winner. He ate a mountain of pancakes.



William putting his blueberries on his pancakes and Caleb enjoying every bite...Bryn was in control of this grill. She had fun pouring and flipping the pancakes. Matt's mom is on the other side of the kids. We loved having her with us, and sharing our moments with the kids.

Esther, loving every single bit. She chose blueberries too! This was such a delightful trip, we plan to go back every year! Next time we will bring the kids in their flip flops and shorts so they can go in the water for a bit.





Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's a Birthday Party

Matt took this picture of Bryn last night at her party...it turned out to be a great shot!
My amazing husband made this for her...Bryn's choice birthday dinner. He makes it just like they do at a sushi bar...but for less than half the cost.


Bryn and Judah, after Bryn opened Judah's card. I love the relationship between them, even though they are ten years apart in age.

Esther made a special bead project for Bryn...I love that the two girls are close...it will be amazing to see what God is going to do between them.




The cake made for Bryn...her request for this type, of course. It's all about Bryn day.



Bryn opening her presents, with cousin Abby hanging out...and Bryn's oldest friend, Kelsey. Bryn got lots of money...and a Kindle (where she can download books inexpensively and read them from the screen) from Grammy. It ended up being a great day. We started it with monkey bread for breakfast (I have a tradition that we have a sweet for breakfast on the day of the child's birthday)...then after a no-school day (another tradition), we went to Chick-fil-a for their free Fryday for lunch...and then homemade sushi by Matt for dinner and the family birthday party at night. It was a great day...so excited to have this fourteen year old in our house!





Friday, March 4, 2011

Fourteen Years of the Best Girl

I took this picture last week when Bryn and I went out to lunch when she had to get fitted for her second retainer at the Orthodontist. It is a favorite of mine now...it shows her sweetness and beauty.
Fourteen years ago today I was at Ormond Memorial Hospital in labor with her. Little did I know that those long, hard hours would be the easiest of the past 14 years. It is difficult to raise a girl that is just like yourself. Out of all of our kids, she looks most like me...and also the exact same temperament. But that's okay...she is still my joy. So, with all the newness of being a parent...each day is new for her and for us. We have never raised a girl that is fourteen...by our last child, we will be old pros. So, there is so much more grace for her because she is our first. And along with that grace, comes the double portion of blessing.
One of the main differences that she has compared to me...is that she has a solid, loving home. She doesn't have "father" issues like I have had. She has never struggled to know if she is accepted by her dad. That makes a huge difference. Though she has the normal "teenage insecurities," she has never questioned the love of her father. I am thankful to Matt, for constantly pursuing our children...it is a rarity these days.
She is finding her way in this life...what will she become...what will she do. It's amazing to see her blossom during this time. She loves God and is actively pursuing him...that blesses me beyond words. I am constantly finding a way to seek her out...how to reach out to her...and love her.
I thank God every day for the blessing that she is and what she will become. It is an honor to be her mother. She is going to leave an awesome print on this world. I can and will only accept the best for her...she is a gift...and has been for fourteen years.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Goat Herding

Poor Otto caught by Judah...he is almost as big as Judah, but he is proud that he nabbed him.
Esther with Olive...the only baby goat that will be staying. I hope Esther will be showing her this year at the county fair.

The past month has been quite a lot of funny with all of our baby goats....especially for the kids. I am not sure what they are going to do for fun when they are gone. Multiple times a day they go out and herd them...hold them...play with them...or harass them. Whatever they do, it has consumed a lot of their day time. And since the weather has been so favorable, it has been the perfect time to do this.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eating Out Large Family Style

When you have five children, you have a tendency not to eat out a lot...and if we do we usually take one child on a special date or Matt and I will go by ourselves. Well, last night we made a spontaneous trip to a newer pizza place in our hometown. Matt had a long day at work, and I wasn't expecting him to come home early...and this is the end result. I had become friends with Big Planet Pizza on Facebook...which now allows me to see all of their daily specials. Well, yesterday it happened to be buy one classic cheese and get the other one free. And we already had a credit for a free pizza...so we all ate there (three pizzas for seven) for 14.95! That is how large families eat out...you look for the coupons, kids eat free nights and the special nights to draw in the crowd. So, we had a fun night for almost what it would have cost us to eat at home. Great night with the kids...and great night for mom who didn't have to wash dishes! The kids goofing off last night at Big Planet Pizza...first time we have all been there. They loved all the decorations and the fire pit when you walked out.
Esther, our official crust eater. She loves pizza, but she really loves the crust!

The two goofy kids at the end of the table, making messes and playing jokes on everyone.



William, my big eater! He can put away some pizza...but what do I expect...he hunts lions and tigers on our property all day...and protects us from evil pirates and scoundrels with his swords!



Here they all are showing their pizza...I love William's face...and Judah is covering Caleb up with his pizza...but here is the whole gang!



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

School Days

I snapped a quick picture of my little
Essie this morning...working diligently
on her spelling works. It's a rainy morning here in Florida...but that doesn't stop us. We continue to work hard and love the cool breeze going through the house. For those of you who have a spelling student in the house (which is about everyone, even if you don't homeschool)...let me tell you about Spellingcity.com. It is an awesome website that allows you to plug in your kids weekly spelling words and then they make games out of them. Super awesome for the kids and for the moms...busy work that is actually productive.


Later on this morning, I was at work with my middle schooler on a science experiment. It is so hard for me...because I really hate science. I have always hated it...and I think it will remain that way. But we still do it here at the Reynolds Nation. Wish my day could all be history and english...but what do you do?
Loving our day here at the Reynolds Nation...We continued our day with the study of our United States map. I love watching all the kids around the table talking about the states, capitals and various main spots. We are memorizing the Great Lakes this week and it's surrounding states. Now, this is more up my alley.